A veteran Atlanta police officer has been named the department’s new commander in Zone 2, which covers Buckhead.

Major Van H Hobbs Jr

Maj. Van H. Hobbs Jr. replaces Zone 2 commander Maj. Robert Browning, who is being promoted to the position of commander of the department’s special operations section, the city said in a press release. The moves, announced by Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, take effect April 26.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Zone 2,” Browning said in the press release. “I’m proud of our accomplishments, most recently capped by the department’s crime reduction award for a 13 percent reduction in crime in 2011.”

Hobbs, a 23-year APD veteran, was Assistant Zone Commander for Zone 6 in February and held that position until he moved to Zone 2 this month, the department said. “I look forward to serving the citizens with the same amount of dedication as Maj. Browning,” he said.

Major Robert Browning

Browning became the Zone 2 commander in 2009. In 2011, Browning won the department’s “Crime Reduction Award” in 2011, an award to zone commander whose area showed the largest reduction in crime during a calendar year. Zone 2 crime dropped by 13 percent in 2011, the city said.

“Maj. Browning has been a tremendous asset to our community and to the Atlanta Police Department and he will be truly missed in Zone 2,” Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean said in the press release.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.